Thursday, May 27, 2010

What a Sweet & Snack Expo!

I am at the Sweet & Snack Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. Yesterday, I made my Spooky Eyeballs and Gingerwreaths at the Wrigley Booth #1745 to crowds of interested candy crafters. Then I talked to Joni Stern from Stern Ingredients about what is happening in the world of wacky confectionery ingredients. I stopped into American Licorice Company to talk to Michael Kelly about the history of American Licorice and was pleased to get some provenance on this great box from my collection. It's 100 years old!

In the evening the Candy Industry Kettle Awards were held at the Union League Club of Chicago. What great fun it is to learn about who is nominated along with their confectionery achievements.The award went to John Brooks Sr. from Adams and Brooks. His California company was founded by his father and a business partner Paul Adams in 1932.

Today Bill Kelley from Jelly Belly (Booth #831) will school me about Goelitz in chicago. Then I will talk to Mark Puch Primrose Candy (booth #2115) about well, perhaps candy.

And in the meantime I have walked the show and fallen in love with two folks; an beautiful Indian
and a woman who makes fantastic gelatin art. She's coming to New York to teach her craft and I plan to sign up for her class.

Later today, meet me at Candyality for some sweet fun with Terese!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Taking Candy On the Road

Last week I was in Chicago to give several lectures. My first took place Monday night at Gibson's Steakhouse for the Candy Production Club, an organization with ingredient and manufacturing members. Over 100 people came from companies like: Ferrara Pan, Blommer Chocolate, Long Grove Confections, Bell Flavors and Primrose. Despite the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks had a playoff game, everyone was very engaged. I had some great conversations about candy history and seemed to really intrigue the group with some snipits from my upcoming book about the history of confections in Chicago.

While there, I discussed the aforementioned upcoming book with a big-10 University press editor at a cute little bakery called Fraîche in Evanston, Illinois. The pint size bakery has a small sit-down area and had a line out the door. People were waiting for delicious coffee and/or a double decker french toast, quiches, cupcakes, & pastries.

On my last day I gave a lecture for Sidley Austin LLP. They have an amazing new green certified building in the Loop at 1 S. Dearborn and offer employees something they call "brown bag lunchtime". They bring in speakers to spice up (or in this case sweeten) lunch with various topics. One listener was so engaged that she seemed to forget all about lunch as she ooohhed and awwed every time I turned a slide. It is always so nice to have 40 candy devotees in one room.

Now, back in New York we finish developing recipes for my candymaking with alternative sweeteners book. The Chocolate Butter Toffee has been getting RAVE reviews.

Next up, back to Chicago in a few weeks for the Sweet & Snack Expo! Sweet home Chicago!